Towards a Political Ecology of Security: Conservation, private military companies and tackling the illegal wildlife trade
Welcome to our first Conflict Enclosures seminar, in which Professor Rosaleen Duffy looks at how the conservation sector has turned towards security approaches to tackle illegal wildlife trade.
Duffy's talk will be based on her new book, Security and Conservation: The Politics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade. She will develop the idea of a political ecology of security to examine the reasons behind this shift, since the rises in poaching from 2008. Responses to poaching and trafficking have focused on enhanced law enforcement, militarization, surveillance and intelligence gathering (Marijnen and Verweijen, 2016; Ashaba, 2020; Büscher and Ramutsindela, 2016; Büscher and Fletcher, 2018; Mabele 2016; Dutta, 2020; Teklehaymanot 2020; Masse et al 2020). This was underpinned by a renewed sense of urgency to do something to save iconic species from extinction, and this was then re-embedded by COVID-19 because wildlife markets were identified as a possible source of the pandemic. As a result, there has been a rise in funding available from donors, governments, philanthropists, and corporations to support conservation. This funding has primarily been used to support enforcement first approaches (Duffy and Masse, 2022). Several global wildlife conservation NGOs are the beneficiaries of these new sources of funding, but so are a raft of new entrants to the conservation scene: private military companies, intelligence services, risk analysts, surveillance technology developers, and drone manufacturers (Duffy, 2022). Duffy will use the example of private military companies involved in training anti poaching teams to illustrate these wider dynamics.
You can find a description of the book here: BIOSEC - New book on Conservation and Security (sheffield.ac.uk)
The seminar will be held in the Just Faaland meeting room at CMI, 3rd floor. Please note that there is a limited number of seats at this event.
Rosaleen Duffy is Professor of International Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She is a political ecologist, and her research focuses on the politics of biodiversity conservation, especially wildlife trafficking. She is author of Security and Conservation The Politics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade. Yale University Press, 2022) and Nature Crime (Yale University Press, 2010). From 2016-2020 she was holder of a EUR 1.8 million European Research Council Advanced award for the BIOSEC Project which focused on wildlife crime and security; she currently runs the £859,000 ESRC funded Beastly Business Project on green collar crime and the illegal trade in European wildlife.
This is the first seminar in the CMI Strategic Programme series on Conflict Enclosures.